The Change

We talk a lot these days about change, changing of the guard, changing sides, changing styles, changing someone’s mind. Change is a constant element of our lives. Working with middle schoolers, I see some students change friends more often than the outfits they wear.

There’s change that is essential and change that is personal preference. Some people change simply for the sake of change. However, there are very few events that we encounter in our lives that lead us to make life-altering changes. That is, a decision that redefines who I am and what’s the basis of my life, my purpose for living.

That’s what resonates with me about the resurrection event of Jesus. The people who experienced the empty tomb that had once held the dead body of Jesus were changed, transformed, by the risen Christ. They went from grieving the execution of their leader to rejoicing in His presence. It redefined the direction of their lives.

There are a lot of life-changing events today that are more numbing and negative: school shootings, a doctor telling someone he has an advanced stage of cancer, an accident that results in the death of a loved one, a hurricane or tornado wiping out a community. Those are all life episodes that lead us into the understanding that nothing will be the same as it was.

The resurrection, on the other hand, changed the lives of those who experienced it in such profound ways that they could not see life through the same lens as they had before. In the darkness of our days, the cynicism of our culture has blanketed the hope of life being different, being joyful, being peace-filled, and being eternal. Doubt and disbelief has become dominant, squeezing optimism into a tiny corner, like the outcast kid at school.

The things that were happening in Jesus’s times were like that as well. There was darkness, oppression, hopelessness…and then a dead man conquered death. It was the change that changed everything.

In these days where change happens so quickly that people become passive about its significance, I keep thinking about what side of the tomb I’m now on. Jesus changed my view from dead to being alive, from a cold existence to the loving warmth of a forgiving God.

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